Doping in Sports Pervasion, Health Implications



Doping is one of the prevalent problems experienced in sports. It involves the use of performance enhancing drugs. Over the years, doping has seen dramatic upsurge in sports. Also, it has been diversified to be inclusive of physiological, mechanical as well as pharmacological techniques of doping (Ambrose, 2004). Currently, it is a serious health problem owing to the diverse detrimental effects that it presents. The act is banned due to various reasons. First, doping is banned globally due to being harmful to health of sportsmen. Besides, doping has also been banned since the substances that are used, make sport competitions unjust through the unethical advantage to those who use the substances (Agomo & Ogunleve, 2014). Also, doping has been prohibited in sports since the sports personnel should be role models to the society thus the usage of performance enhancing drugs could be promoting factors to the usage of such drugs by the young population.

Studies have reported that healthcare professionals are at the front line in the fight against doping. For instance, pharmacists are noted to be the first port of call for the athletes who seek information on drug treatment (Ali et al., 2016). Besides, they have a wide range of knowledge of not only the biochemical nature of drugs but also their mechanism of action. They thus play an important role in the deterrence of doping in sports. They thus need adequate knowledge as well as expertise besides the communication skills that are important in the prevention of the usage of performance enhancing medications (Ali et al., 2016). Despite the efforts that have been globally put in place such as advanced scientific research, methods of doping detection, control procedures, educational campaigns, strict punishments and policy advancements, doping in has still seen an increase not only at professional but also at recreational levels (Mottram, 2018). Physicians have also been reported to be significant to the efforts put in place to deal with doping owing to their wide experience in body physiology (Gebregergs et al., 2021).



The abundant use of performance enhancing drugs has been brought about by the financial interests of athletes, their coaches as well as their sponsors. Thus, this presents a great challenge for medical practitioners such as pharmacists and physicians. The rationale for undertaking this study is based on the detrimental effects that doping presents with as well as the unjustness that it brings in sports. Healthcare professionals are at the fore front in the fight against doping thus assessing their knowledge about the topic is ultimately important in the fight against the problem.

Study aim

This study aims to examine the knowledge and attitude of physicians and pharmacists on doping.


The study makes a hypothesis that pharmacist and physicians have high knowledge about doping and are against it.

Research Methodology

Study design

This study will adopt a secondary research design to answer the research questions. This study design would involve data collection from published studies via systematic literature review. Besides, the research study would also involve qualitative research design. Various databases will be searched of relevant literature and these will be inclusive of Medscape, Medline, EMBASE, and Pubmed. Key words will be used in drawing the relevant studies for the review. The key words used are inclusive of perceptions, doping, pharmacists, physicians, and sports. The key words are to be combined using Boolean operators for limiting the search. Apart from the keywords, the research topic will also be useful in sourcing some studies for review.

Key words






Inclusion criteria

Studies published in English

Studies published in the last ten years

Studies containing the keywords used in literature search

Original studies with longitudinal design

Exclusion criteria

Secondary reviews

Non-original studies

Cross-sectional studies

Search strategy

After design the search for literature, it will be carried out. Databases will be used and the first ones that will be used will be inclusive of Pubmed databases. It will thus be screened systematically using MeSH terms that are inclusive of doping (MeSH Terms) OR sports AND Perceptions Or Views AND physicians OR pharmacists.

A manual screening will also be carried out besides the systematic screening. This will aim at looking for the search terms that have been mentioned above to retrieve more papers which would not have been identified by the initial search strategy. The references list that would have been identified will thus undergo an assessment carefully in an attempt to ensure that only relevant papers to the topic are identified.

Data collection and Data Items

First, an independent assessment of the titles will be carried out as well as on the abstracts of the papers that would have been identified. The reason for doing this would be to ensure the relevancy of the research papers to the topic of study as well as the suitability of language. Thereafter, the papers will undergo an examination for assessing their appropriateness of being used in the study. The methodologies of the identified papers would also be examined, author affiliations, years of publication as well as the study designs that are used in each research paper.

Data synthesis

The studies will be presented in a narrative synthesis.

Data analysis

The data collected from the literature review will be thematically analysed. The process will involve a close examination of the data with the aim of identifying common themes as well as ideas, patterns, and topics that are come across many times. The six-step process will be used in analysing the data. This would be inclusive of familiarizing with the data before coding then generating themes. After themes are generated, they would be reviewed, defined and named before making a write up to present the results of the data analysis. This approach is good as the study involves finding out the views, opinions, experiences, as well as the knowledge of people from qualitative data.

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Agomo, C. O., & Ogunleye, J. (2014). An investigation of strategies enhancing the public health role of community pharmacists: a review of knowledge and information. Journal of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research, 5(2), 135-145.

Ali, A., Ansari, M. A., Khaliq, A., JHATIAL, A., Bhutto, G. M., & Mahesar, H. A. (2016). Measuring the perceptions of pharmacy students of doping prevention: Case Study of a Pakistani Universities. Sindh University Research Journal-SURJ (Science Series), 48(4).

Ambrose, P. J. (2004). Drug use in sports: a veritable arena for pharmacists. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, 44(4), 501-516.

Gebregergs Hailu, H., Yirsaw Gobezie, M., Tuha, A., Mulugeta, R., & Ahmed Mohammed, S. (2021). Doping Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Pharmacists in Dessie, Northeast Ethiopia. Integrated pharmacy research & practice, 10, 43–50.

Mottram, D. R. (2018). Drugs and their use in sport. Drugs in sport, 3-20.

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